Many moons ago, I was not a Mommy. I desparately wanted to be a Mommy, but I had some trouble getting there...
At the age of 22, I was told I had endometriosis and that it was quite severe. I was also told that I needed to get pregnant as soon as I could, as this (or alternatively, induced early menopause) was one of the only things that could cure the disease. The ironic part here is that I was one of the 10% of people who have endometriosis whose fertility was negatively affected by it.
Sooooo, I tried lots and lots of things. I tried taking birth control pills and then going off of them (because sometimes this can "fool" your body into thinking it doesn't have endo??). I tried IUI (3 times with no success) and IVF (twice). I even came really, really close to using donor eggs (a high FSH level was not helping things). It's not that I could not get pregnant - I got pregnant. Six times. I lost all of them. The first one hurt me. The second one seemed unfair. The third loss made me angry. After that, they just blended in with one another...
I had two or three laparoscopies to burn out the endo. But it came right back. And then some. By the time I was 33, I thought it just wasn't going to happen for me.
Then I started burning a fever. It lasted for nearly a year. I often wonder what that was. There were lots of blood draws and lab tests, but no real answers. For awhile, there was talk of lupus, cancer, and the inevitable hysterectomy. For whatever reason, I did not let these things phase me and I was not goaded into action - the conscious decision to sign away any chance of bearing my own child - just yet.
Then I met Dan. I knew he was special when I met him. The fact that he had a toddler already was attractive to me. I told him I could not have children. We got pregnant three months into our relationship. I lost that one very early on - my seventh loss. Then we got pregnant again a year later. We weren't concerned about birth control because we knew I did not need it. That one stuck. Her name is Abigail. She is my miracle baby. I had her when I was 34 years old.
Along with Abigail came the thought that maybe my infertility doors had been closed and I was now "normal". No such luck. The endo came back again. They found it on my lung and all over my intestines, bladder, ovaries, tubes and uterus. Again came the pressure to have a hysterectomy. Again, we (this time it was "we" and not me going through this journey alone) resisted. Eight months after Abigail's birth, we got pregnant again. We had hope for this one, even though it was earlier than we had wanted to try. We lost it two weeks later and, like the very first loss, this one hurt. Now I knew what I was losing. We focused on Abigail and Mara and moved on.
A year later, when Abs was nearly two and Mara was almost five, we decided to try again. Seven months later, we found out that we were, again, expecting. We held our breaths. I bled at 9 weeks. The doctor took preventative measures. She stuck. Juliana has always been tenacious, at that.
The endo, again, returned. Now with chocolate cysts and more pain than ever. We felt we were a complete unit and the doctors finally had their way with me.
Fast forward - my sister-in-law and her husband are getting ready to have their fifth round of IVF. Now I want something desparately again. I want to be an aunt. I want these two people to be parents. I want my girls to have first cousins, because in my life cousins are like sisters. Is it too much to ask for another miracle, but this time for someone else? I hope I have not used up all of my miracles...we need one more.